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How to: Backup Your Android Device

Screenshot of Data Backup

Phones die, they get lost, or even fall into “the drink.” Whatever the reason for your loss, it’s good to know that you backed up all of the information.

You did back up your information, right?

Great. Now you can just restore all your files, images and other important information.

Just in case you didn’t, what do you do now? Not much, there isn’t a lot that can be done. Once the data is lost, it’s unrecoverable – at least without paying a small fortune. One friend recently discovered she lost over 900 photos and all of her contact when her phone went, “kerput.” Ouch.

Android, unfortunately, lacks a decent native backup system. Sure, if you’re using a Google account, your contacts, emails, and calendar will return rather quickly. However, that’s about all you’ll return to the new device. You need a redundant backup system and policy that is similar, and as strict, to your law firm’s data backup. You do have a data backup policy and system for your law firm, right? Note too, having a backup policy also includes regularly testing the backup system. One good way to test the backup is to create a new file or complete folder; back up the data; delete the new information; restore the backup; and check to see that the new file or folder returns.

Despite Android’s lack of a decent backup service, there are still precautions you can take. For instance, GCloud is a great app that offers effortless cloud backups. Add in this holiday offer for lifetime backups, and you have a real deal.

GCloud Holiday

I like this app because I don’t have to think about backing up and moving files. There are other apps that offer similar backup services, one of my favorites is My Backup Pro ($4.99) (Google Play | Amazon).

 

In case you haven’t already, you can set up your Google account sync by going to Settings > Privacy > click Back up my settings and Automatic restore. Go to Settings > Accounts and sync > open your Gmail account > check off all options. With these settings in place, your contacts, system settings, apps, calendar, and e-mail will be restored whenever you set up a new Android phone with that same Gmail account.

Automatic Backup Settings for Android

If you’re not willing to spend money to backup your device, your ship isn’t sunk, you’ll just have to work a little harder.

You can back up your device in the traditional manner by copying and pasting files to your computer. Connect your phone via USB to your computer; set the device to Disk mode; locate the drive and open it; navigate to the DCIM folder (usually under camera) for photos or in the Music folder for music.

DCIM Folder for Pictures

If you use Google+, you can automatically upload pictures and videos to your account by turning on “Instant Upload.”

Google+ Instant Upload

Having some pictures tied to your Google account is slightly annoying, but indeed a lifesaver since it’s effortless.

To save your music, I like using the Amazon MP3 or Play Music apps, synced in the cloud with my music accounts. If you’re an offline fan, you can use drag and drop (like pictures) to transfer files between your desktop and Android phone or tablet.

Finally, if you’re immensely concerned about keeping text messages, SMS Backup + (free) (Google Play | Amazon), is a great app that will allow you to backup your text messages to your Gmail account.

The point for any backup system is to use it and abuse it. As I’ve discovered on a number of occasions, one innocent factory reset can obliterate all of your data. Knowing that you can quickly recover and reconnect is very nice.

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